Courtesy of Raphael Alves
Born in Manaus (Amazonas, Brazil), Raphael Alves studied Journalism at the Federal University of Amazonas (UFAM), Photography at the State University of Londrina (UEL) and Visual Arts at the National Service for Commercial Learning (SENAC). He also has a Master of Arts degree in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication / University of the Arts London (LCC/UAL).
The Covid-19 pandemic has reached the state of Amazonas in northern Brazil. The socioeconomic inequalities and the lack of policies that take into account the peculiarities of the region showed the fragile structure of the largest state in the federation, covered almost entirely by the Amazon rainforest. Distances and travel difficulties, the lack of medium and high complexity health services in the municipalities of the interior, the lack of water and a minimally qualified sanitation system - a situation that persists during an outbreak whose most basic form of prevention is the act of washing hands - reflected directly in an unprecedented health crisis.
Separated families; native peoples and their cultures under constant threat; people dying in their homes without the slightest chance; collective burials in trenches; victims of the disease huddled in cold rooms allocated to hospitals. These are representations, clippings of an even more complex reality.
There was no way out for decades of wrong priorities in the Amazonas and the region experienced collapse. The pandemic and neglect took a huge toll: lives. Thousands of them are now buried in the isolated Amazonian territory.
This series of images provides a small overview of what has been the Covid-19 pandemic in the state of Amazonas, in northern Brazil. In the images the result of the wrong choices that the leaders of the region have made for decades: people suffering and dying in their own homes for not being able to receive care; crowded hospitals; torn families; coffins forming part of the furniture in the houses; collective burials due to lack of space in cemeteries; and more than 2600 dead.